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Pacific communities Shake It to exercise programme

Pacific communities Shake It to exercise programme

An initiative to encourage Pacific peoples to take up more physical activity is proving a big hit with community members, prompting the launch of an extension of the programme throughout Wellington.

The Shake It, Beat It, Learn It programme pilot, which is officially being launched by Minister of Health Pete Hodgson on July 31, originally started in two small groups but its popularity has seen the number of participants soar.

The scheme came about after Pacific community groups asked the DHB for help running exercise-based activities. C&C DHB Manager of Pacific Health, Lee Pearce, took the initiative and the DHB is currently running a pilot programme utilising the New Zealand Institute of Sport who have provided young Pacific students to run the exercise groups.

“The aim of the programme is to inspire people and show them how exercise can easily be fitted into their every-day lives. It can include activities such as music and dance, which are already a significant part of Pacific culture, to increase exercise levels,” Lee says.

“It is important that participants feel they can make the programme their own and take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. The response has shown that the Pacific community has really embraced the idea and are really enthusiastic.”

A Porirua-based Cook Island community group that took part in the pilot found the interest was so high, the number of participants rose from 35 to about 100.

Promotion, Prevention, Intervention and Maintenance are the step-by-step messages the programme outlines.

As part of the programme, which will be extended to include groups throughout the Wellington region, there will be formal evaluation of health outcomes to assess its effectiveness. A community-wide programme organised by C&C DHB was considered to be the most cost-effective way of ensuring evaluation is carried out.

The programme will also allow participants to undergo training through the New Zealand Institute of Sport to give them the skills to teach others.

The official launch of the programme will be held at Pahina Tokelau Congregational Church, 2 Kivell Street, Porirua, from 4pm – 5.30pm on July 31.


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